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Romney's Memory
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 11:25 AM)

Joe Klein: "I fear that I went too easy on Mitt Romney with regard to his high school bullying escapades. It's not the incident itself that troubles me -- though it was, obviously, outrageous and disgraceful -- so much as his current response: He doesn't remember it. This is patent nonsense. How could he not remember it? Obviously, he remembers it or he wouldn't have been so quick to issue his blanket apology yesterday for any and all hurt he may have caused at Cranbrook. And this transparent fudge once again raises questions about his character."

Andrew Sullivan: "I do not believe Romney has no memory of this. I believe he is lying. His absurd statement that he has no memory of the event but that he didn't target the boy for being gay is hilarious for its self-contradiction. A boy who routinely snickered 'Atta girl!' when one young gay kid in his class spoke up is not just bashing hippies. I went to an all boys high school in the 1970s. What Romney did was a gay-bashing."

Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 5/11
(from: Swing State Project @ May 11, 2012, 11:03 AM)

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Who is Mitt Romney?
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 10:30 AM)

First Read notes the Romney campaign "appears to have picked the fastest path" of trying to get the bullying story behind them. "Let the candidate vaguely address, accept the fact you'll have a bad news cycle or two and hope it's done by next week."

"But this story exposed a bigger problem for Romney. The first thing anyone running for office has to do is own their own narrative; they need to define themselves before the other side does it for them. And the bigger issue here is that the story brings to light how Romney - despite running for president for five years - is still not completely defined; his narrative is still being formed. The question of, 'Who is Mitt Romney,' is still out there. Just because you have high name ID, doesn't mean people know who you are. It's the great mistake that John Kerry made in 2004. When you first start running as a presidential candidate, you're usually a two-dimensional figure. By the general election, you're 3D; you're fully formed. Romney's STILL not yet fully formed despite fact that he's run for president for so long. The story's a reminder of how easily others are trying to fill in the blanks. Which begs the question: why is Romney still not fully-formed in the minds of the public?"

U.S. District Court Judge in North Carolina Refuses to Give Injunctive Relief Against May Petition Deadline
(from: Ballot Access News @ May 11, 2012, 10:26 AM)

On May 10, U.S. District Court Judge Graham C. Mullen, a Bush Sr. appointee, refused to grant an injunction against North Carolina’s May petition deadline for newly-qualifying parties. Here is the 17-page order. The plaintiffs argue that a May petition deadline, at least as applied to presidential elections, violates Anderson v Celebrezze. The case was filed by the Constitution Party and the Green Party, and is called North Carolina Constitution Party v Bartlett, 3:12-cv-192, western district.

The order says the lawsuit should have been filed earlier in the year. The lawsuit was filed on March 27, 2012. The order says, “Defendants will be harmed by Plaintiffs’ delay because Plaintiff’s delay threatens to significantly disrupt the election process. As the Fourth Circuit recently noted, ‘applications for a preliminary injunction granting ballot access have been consistently denied when they threaten to disrupt an orderly election’. Perry v Judd.”

Perry v Judd was filed by several Republican presidential primary candidates against Virginia’s ban on out-of-state circulators. The judge in Perry v Judd refused to put Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum on the Virginia March 6 primary because their lawsuit had been filed on December 27, 2011, only 70 days before the primary. In the current North Carolina case, the lawsuit was filed 224 days before the election, so the judge’s analogy is a poor one.

The order also says that the number of signatures is constitutional, but does not even discuss the precedents that say a petition deadline that early, in the context of a presidential election, is unconstitutional. The order also ignores the fact that in 1988 and 1992, the North Carolina State Board of Elections was so sure the deadline is unconstitutional, it set aside the deadline and did not enforce it. In 1988 the Board let the New Alliance Party submit its petition in July, even though the deadline back then was in May, just as it is today. The order also fails to acknowledge that in Anderson v Celebrezze, the U.S. Supreme Court said states have less interest in restrictive ballot access laws, than they do for office other than President. The order does not mention Bergland v Harris, in which the 11th circuit says even a 2.5% petition, as applied to President, may be unconstitutional. Plaintiffs will appeal.

Gay Marriage and the Democratic Base
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 10:20 AM)

Nate Silver says President Obama's decision to back gay marriage was probably driven by the fact that a majority of Democratic voter support gay marriage.

"The point is simply this: it's very unusual for someone who is the leader of his party -- and Mr. Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party as well as being the president -- to hold a position on a major issue in opposition to the clear majority of the voters within that party. In elections since World War II, instead, a party's presidential nominee has generally been someone who is close to the median of his party's voters."

His point is emphasized, as Andrew Sullivan points out, by the fact that the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate also came out in support of marriage equality.

Surprisingly Close in Oregon
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 10:14 AM)

A new SurveyUSA poll in Oregon finds a tight presidential race with President Obama just ahead of Mitt Romney in a general election match up, 47% to 43%.

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Introducing our 2012 House race ratings
(from: Swing State Project @ May 11, 2012, 08:00 AM)

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Leading Off:

? House Race Ratings: In case you haven't seen them yet, Daily Kos Elections just published our inaugural House race ratings for the 2012 election cycle. Our complete chart is available at the link, where we've rated 107 races as potentially competitive (so far). While you're at it, you can also check out our Senate and gubernatorial race ratings as well. We'll be keeping all of these lists updated regularly throughout the election cycle, and every time we issue a change, we'll keep you posted in the Daily Digest, so stay tuned!

Romney Classmate Confirms Incident
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 07:23 AM)

Phillip Maxwell told CNN he is "still haunted by what he claims he witnessed on the campus of the state's elite Cranbrook School in 1965: a young Mitt Romney and a group of friends holding down a classmate named John Lauber and cutting off chunks of his long hair."

Said Maxwell: "It was not an event you take a lot of pride in. And it was that way for all of us."

He added: "I'm a lawyer. I know what an assault is. This kid was scared. He was terrified. That's an assault."

Obama Raises a Record $15 Million at Clooney Fund-Raiser
(from: NY Times The Caucus @ May 11, 2012, 06:49 AM)

The buddy act that President Obama and George Clooney have developed was on full display on Thursday night at the actor's home in Los Angeles, where they entertained a Hollywood crowd that paid $40,000 a person to support the president's re-election.

Walker Talked of "Divide and Conquer" Strategy
(from: Political Wire @ May 11, 2012, 06:24 AM)

A video taken in early 2011 shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) saying he would use "divide and conquer" as a strategy against unions, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

"Walker made the comments to billionaire Diane Hendricks, who has since given $510,000 to the governor's campaign -- making her Walker's single-largest donor and the largest known donor to a candidate in state history."

"In the video, Hendricks asked the governor whether he could make Wisconsin a 'completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work' state... Walker replied that his 'first step' would be 'to divide and conquer' through his budget-adjustment bill, which curtailed most collective bargaining for most public employee unions."

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